Chanting Mantra; Sleeping Chanter

Greetings my dear friends
IN THE BEGINNING WAS THE WORD

Some of you will know, most will not. I chant mantra everyday and as much as I can. There are many reasons for this: I use it as a form of spiritual practise or meditation; a kind of place and time for quiet, getting grounded, being still for a bit; it is a form of prayer in that it can help open a space of silence in which I can hear life (or as you may choose to call it higher self/unconscious/spirit/God/whatever it’s called), where I can perhaps gain insights, receive guidance from that other source buried deep within myself; it makes me feel happy(ier); I enjoy the aesthetics of the experience as I use Japa beads (also called prayer beads or rosary beads) to chant on. Lots of reasons really and to sum it all up I could say the main reason I chant mantra is that I want to and it feels right. I actually try not to analyse it overly much.

I should mention the mantra I chant is the Hare Krishna mantra, or Maha Mantra. Why? Again many reasons: I like it; it has always resonated for me; I have a love of India (no surprise there) and this mantra is one of the most sacred for a huge number of people there; I have had contact on and off with Krishna devotees for most of my life (starting at 17 when in exchange for food I helped with renovations in their Amsterdam temple way back in 1971 when I spent a couple of months sleeping in Vondel Park).

Enough background already! What I wanted to talk about here is how lately I’ve been trying to chant more often. The problem I’ve been facing is that because I am so tired all the time, pretty much every time I sit to chant, I fall asleep before I even complete a round (108 repetitions of the mantra). So what? I hear you asking. Quite right too. However, as anyone who’s studied meditation of any kind will tell you, you’re not supposed to fall asleep; sleep is not the same as meditation.

It’s not the same because when asleep you aren’t awake. Well, that was profound wasn’t it? haha. What I meant to say is this: in a meditative state one is still awake and available to feel relaxation, to receive guidance or insight, to feel peace, and to experience whatever else one is meant to. Being asleep means you are ‘unconscious’, and therefore not in the same receptive state.

This had been worrying me for a while now, as I continued falling asleep while chanting. But then, a couple of days ago, I was walking back from the nearest cafe (a not so great fast food chain restaurant, but when coffee is concerned beggars can’t be choosers) when I passed a Christian church. On its signboard there is a quote from Matthew’s Gospel in the Christian Bible:

IMG_20170727_115947_HDR-01Now, as I was just describing, for me the chanting of the mantra is a way to be still, to be open to what I choose to call Life, or the life force that is everything that is. So, again as I pointed out, some may call this God. Here in this quote it is Jesus speaking, or to be more accurate, it is the Christ speaking. Christ means ‘anointed one’ implying the possession of some special or sacred knowledge. This is important: many people are privy to special knowledge of all kinds, that most of us aren’t.

In India it is said by many that to chant the names of Krishna summons Christ; the two names or words are interchangeable. So, here we have a quote from Christ telling us ‘Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest’. For me this immediately struck a chord. Right away I got it, or as we used to say like the Martians, I grokked it: I understood it at a deep level, a place in which I could see, yes this is talking to me.

You see, I chant the names of Krishna/Christ, which I understand to stand for the Life Force, for what some call the Universe, but I was falling asleep. The other fact about me I mention above is that I am always very very tired (most of you know all about that), so what happens? I ‘come unto’ Krishna/Christ through chanting the names, and I fall asleep: I am ‘given rest’.

Now there is no need to fight sleep, or just chant when I feel energetic enough to ensure I stay awake; no need to worry about ‘missing something’ if I fall asleep. In fact, rather than missing something, I am truly gaining a great deal: I get to rest!

Pretty straightforward and easy really, don’t you think? I can say it’s a nice relief for me anyway. I will carry on chanting because I like it and it’s a part of my life. And if I fall asleep? Well, I will just have to take that rest being offered won’t I?

I wish you all love and blessings from us to you

Paul

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

hare kṛṣṇa hare kṛṣṇa
kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa hare hare
hare rāma hare rāma
rāma rāma hare hare

Checking in from Broken Hill: An Update

Hey everyone

I thought i would just jot down a quick update from our continued journey to settle down here in Broken Hill, in the Outback of Australia. First up, we’re settling in very nicely, thank you to all who’ve wished us well and enquired about how things are going

As you read in our last post, we are renting a tiny house (AKA a granny flat) and the owners could not have been more welcoming and hospitable. Just today we (well not me: I’m not well enough to lift heavy stuff at the moment) moved out a lot of stuff that was being stored here and moved in a great sofa (couch we say out here mate). Now we both have our own sitting arrangements suitable to our various activities.

We have all our stuff in its place now. Everything is ready and accessible, and more importantly, organised and tidy. Anyone who’s been on the road for months or years will know how much tidiness and efficient organisation of one’s belonging matters.

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A nicely renovated cottage that shows off the lovely stone used in its construction

It was a nice long walk for us yesterday. Such an interesting town to wander in. Even the regular residential streets are full of things to see. Lots of miners’s cottages that have been done up (and many many more that haven’t been).

 

Then, on the same street at this lovely stone house front, we came across a synagogue. Not what a lot of people would expect in a desert town in the Australian outback. But, back in the late 19th and early 20th Century Broken Hill had quite a significant Jewish population, The synagogue closed in the mid 20th Century, became a private home for a while and in the 90s became the headquarters for the local historical society.

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The Synagogue

 

Although we’d walked the main street a couple of times, this time we noticed a beautiful old tree we’d not seen before. Actually The Hill is choc-a-blok with trees, all kinds really, but mostly Eucalypts. Over time I have a plan to photograph some of them, so stay tuned. Anyway, this one was a nice surprise. Just goes to show it pays sometimes to come at things from another angle. You never know what you’ll discover.

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A newly discovered tree

So, yes we are settling in well. We’ve met the owners’ two dogs; Pearl and Beege (Just wait till you see photos of these two beauties) and of course we know the three kitty cats from caring for them for a couple of weeks.

I see the heart doctor on Tuesday. After that appointment I should have an idea of what happens next. I’m feeling okay, just tired and trying to take it easy. Won’t be long and I will be repaired!

Thank you for your company on this Journey

Peace

 

 

 

 

Broken Hill, Tiny House. Home Sweet Home

Okay, I know we’ve been in Broken Hill for two weeks now. And only one post! Talk about time flying. Well actually talking about flying: we’ve already had a couple of flights down to Adelaide and back for some hospital tests for me. Not planning on giving too much attention to this stuff; suffice it to say that I have some heart damage that needs to be repaired. Not overly life-threatening and easily fixed. Which it will be in the next month or so. I do have to add here though that the support and love I have had from all of you has been amazing. Not only amazing but so real and so helpful to me and Pauline during this really rather stressful process. Thank you, all of you.

Anyway, by way of celebrating that two week (plus one day if we’re going to be picky about it) milestone, today we moved from the house we were caring for, to the flat out the back; a move to our own space after almost five years on the road and staying in all manner of places, all of which were of course home for the duration, but not really. If you know what I mean.

BROKEN HILL FLAT 17072017Actually, I want to make a correction here: strictly speaking this new abode is called a Granny flat. But you know us: right up there with the latest trends, fads, and new styles of living. With that in mind, let me tell you right here and now, we are living in our very own Tiny House. Well, we’re renting it and plan on making it home for some time to come.

Having our own little home is very much a part of our healing; it is a huge quantum leap on our Journey.  We’re a bit tired and in need of a settled place to live for a time. Just a place where we are independent and self-sufficient; and responsible for ourselves only. Even the chance to have a little space of our own to practice our art(s).

We’ve really been blessed in finding this flat—sorry tiny house.  The people we’ve been house and cat sitting for, offered it to us, and we are thankful.  Only about a kilometre from the CBD, it’s in a great location. And already, even though we’ve not had a lot of time to explore, we love the town. There is a vibe about the place that speaks of space, of quiet, of being on and in the land, in country. Just what we wanted really.

In fact, as I spoke about in the first (and only other) post from The Hill (we’re locals now; have to talk the talk), it’s all just fallen into place since we made the decision to come and settle here for a while. We spoke often and passionately about having a small place of our own: simple, easy to care for, and a space that felt like a safe-haven; that we could treat as our own hermitage, our own retreat centre. And, lo and behold, it has come to pass.

So, tonight is our first night in that little hermitage, that little hermits’ cave we will make our own for as long as it wants us here; for as long as we need to be here.  Pauline is watching a movie on YouTube, while I type up this post. First time, I should mention, we have had reliable internet for I don’t remember how long. Another blessing.

Okay, probably time for me to watch a movie of my own. Thank you to you all once again. Having so much support and love is a blessing for which I am going to be grateful for forever

What I Did on Day 1 in the Desert

The workings of life and the universe are always amazing, sometimes surprising, and occasionally mystifying and awe-inspiring.  And, again occasionally, we notice that miracles do happen, and that, as Carl Jung said synchronicities occur more often than we know, yet they tell us we are in the right place, doing the right thing at the right time.

This isn’t the post I’d planned as our first from our new home in Broken Hill. But one of those miracles, one of those synchronicities has occurred; one with a terrific outcome promised.

Several years ago I had a stent inserted into a heart artery that was blocked in a bad way. The last few weeks I’ve been experiencing the same sort of symptoms that led me to seek help that time. Oh well, we thought, it’s just another thing to get sorted when we get settled in Broken Hill.

Well yesterday (I wrote this on Tuesday; today’s Thursday) during our first exploration of the town on our first day here, I wasn’t able to walk more than a few metres without those symptoms (severe neck ache, total exhaustion, and breathlessness). So, rather than wait till we could find a local doctor, we headed for the hospital.IMG_20170703_211111

That was about 24 hours ago. They have been monitoring me (totally wired up!) since I got here; had all kinds of measurements done every few minutes, and been jabbed with needles of various pain inducing sizes at least a dozen times and in a range of places (no, I am not exaggerating). More tests have been prescribed; more medications too. And then there is the possibility of another stent being inserted or other measures taken to clear any major blockage found.

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Writers never rest from the writing of words

I would like to say now that I have received the most amazing and compassionate care from doctors, nurses, and even the people who bring the restaurant quality meals and regular cups of tea.  All this at no cost to us. All free. On Monday we have to fly 500km to Adelaide for more tests. Flights, taxis and hotels are also at no cost to us. Too often we don’t acknowledge and express gratitude for blessings bestowed on us by the simple fact of what country we live in.

The other blessing is that we decided (thanks to Pauline for being the one to insist) to come to the hospital rather than wait and go through a local doctor once we found one. If we had waited, this whole process might have taken months and perhaps not have been as thorough. As it is, there has been extensive testing and consultation, careful monitoring, and medical care all delivered by caring and skilled professionals. And in a matter of hours too.

All of which means of course that I will be healed of this condition far faster than we would have ever thought possible. It’s as if we decided that our next big step on this Journey of Healing of ours was to move here to the desert, to Broken Hill, and the universe said: ‘Yes, you’ve done the right thing; you’ve made the right move. Now, on your very first day, here’s the plan to get this whole healing thing rolling’.

And you know what? Right now as I sit in my hospital bed (in my own private room I might add), I don’t feel worried and I am not concerned, much less scared. Obviously this Angina thing isn’t a small deal by any means, but nor is it immediately life threatening. Proper care has begun and if I do my part, then all will be well. The problem will be fixed; healing will occur.

So, I am grateful firstly to Pauline for her love, care, wise counsel, and for always being there with and for me.  I thank the people in the hospital for their care and compassion, their friendliness and humour (even the cleaners were hilarious).

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My pretty blue gown. Provided after I dropped a dunked biscuit on my white one. The nurse suggested she could get me a bib from the children’s ward.

And, finally, I give thanks to Life itself, that great unseen force that drives us all. Call it God; call it the Universe; call it fate and destiny.

No matter what name we give to this all pervasive but invisible force, the reality remains:

Life rules!

PS I ended up staying two nights for monitoring. I’m tired, but already I feel better.Paul Self Portrait with Prayer Flags

The Countdown has Begun, but Who’s Counting?

Yes, I know: I’m supposed to be here until I’m there and I’m not there yet. I wrote that didn’t I? Not a bad notion when one can get it sorted. And, I’m getting there. No, not there there, but I’m getting there, as in practise will one day make perfect. Still, this morning I realized it’s one week today till we head out to the great desert country in the interior of this vast land.

Beach at the Entrance

Heading from this, to…

And I’m excited. More than excited, I actually feel a little sense of joy at the prospect. I feel already a kind of satisfaction, which I guess sounds a bit weird given that I’m not there yet and have no true idea of how it will be and what will really happen. I guess I am satisfied, content really, with the knowledge that we’ve made the decision and that we have a really good feeling about being there.

So, I think I mentioned in my last post that I will be doing some volunteering. The plan is to get back into Community Radio. Some of you will know, though some won’t, that I worked for a couple of years at a community station a few years ago. I loved it and would like to learn

Back to Country

to this! And it’s amazing out there too.

more and contribute more. So many people in Australia listen to local Community stations, and there is so much that can be done to educate, raise awareness, and entertain so many people.

We’ve got our accommodation sorted as well. Blessing of blessings we have a housesit for the first month, then a couple of choices longer term. I’ve told you all this haven’t I? Sorry, but I guess that’s excitement for you lol.

Anyway, I won’t repeat myself anymore. Just wanted to touch base and share with you some of my feelings about moving to the desert.

Love and blessings from us to you

Paul

MAY WE ALL DWELL IN THE HIGH PLACES

Am I Here & Now, Or There & Then?

Right now we are in a town called Woy Woy on the east coast of Australia, just north of Sydney. It’s a pretty enough town, but its main claim to fame is that Spike Milligan’s parents retired here way back whenever it was they retired. And, Spike himself was a regular visitor to the town.

We are, however, here housesitting and caring for three Miniature Poodles. Crazy, but loving and loveable little monsters. We are here for another couple of weeks, or to be precise 14 day, 4 hours, and 55 minutes until the plane lifts off from Sydney to carry us to Broken Hill.Back to Country

You might have guessed by now that I am getting pretty excited, anxious,  and plain and simple looking forward to getting there. And, yes, you would be right. I just want to be there—way out there in desert country. But, you see, herein lays the problem: I am so keen to get there that I’m feeling as if I am no longer here. I am not present; I am not living each moment in the place I am in.

I don’t mean to say that I am some sort of Buddha who usually is fully present in each moment; or who is serene and calm when he knows change is coming.IMG_20170614_151332_1497417289695_1497417538148 But, I must say that lately I have improved (slightly) my living in the moment, being here and now, way of living. It’s just that I’ve been longing for this particular change (and all that I anticipate will come with it) so much that I just can’t help myself.

Did I mention already that this is a problem for me? Well, yes, I did, and it is. I prefer very much to be where I am and when I am at any given moment. Or, at least, to be there and then as often as I am able.

Of course there is nothing wrong with wanting something to happen. The problem arises when one is so anxious for whatever it is to happen, that what’s happening here and now ceases to be where one is at—not living in the present.

Buddha taught what are called The Four Noble Truths. (which pretty much forms the core of Buddhist teachings) The second of these Truths says that attachment is the cause of suffering. Suffering here means anxiety, worry, regret, fear; all those kinds of things. Whenever we say something like, ‘I can’t wait to…’, then it is a sure sign we are attached to that want or desire.If I'm In It_ Will I Win It_

By the way, the First Noble Truth is: Life is suffering. Suffering, The Buddha taught, is simply the price of being alive. We get hungry, we are conscious of pain (in all its guises), we grieve; we grow old; we get sick; and we die.

But, right now, I want to talk more about Noble Truths three and four. Number three says that suffering can be overcome. Nice clean, clear, and not to mention, succinct little statement. Of course, it’s easy for him to say isn’t it? He is Buddha after all.

Perfectly reasonable reaction from us suffering humans. But there is hope and will find that in Noble Truth number four which gives us the how of overcoming suffering. There are quite a few ways to put this Truth into words, but the one I like best says:

The way to overcome suffering is to sit. IMG_20170223_172258_HDR

What? Sit? Yes, sit. Be still; stop moving. Of course if we relate this Truth to my little dilemma for wanting to so badly to be somewhere else that I’m not able to be where I am now, we can expand this Truth to something like this:

Focus your full attention on what you are doing now, and where you are now as well. As much as you can, be open to change, but be less attached to the nature or timing of that change. After all, you can make all the plans you like, but who knows what’s really going to happen—you won’t know that till it actually happens.

So, that’s what I am trying to do. Instead of saying stuff like ‘I wish we could go sooner’, or ‘it’s only x days till we go’, I am going to ask myself, ‘What am I doing now?’, and I plan to look around me, and engage more with the reality of this moment. Then the next moment, then the next.

As Ram Dass said, Be Here Now. Hey, that’s a great mantra isn’t it? Chanting it whenever I start getting out of the here and now mode, might just put me back here—and now.

Love and blessings from us to you

Paul

Paul Self Portrait with Prayer Flags

Where Have All the Ideas Gone?

Where have all the ideas gone?

Long time passing (since my last post)

Where have all the ideas gone?

Long time ago (8 days ago to be exact)

 

It’s one of the genuine blogger’s worst nightmares: the idea well has run dry. At the Town TapOf course all the blogging ‘experts’ tell you (allow me to paraphrase and generalise generously here) Post Post Post regardless. No ideas? No problem; just post any old thing. ‘Gotta keep them views high eh? Gotta keep that engagement level high. Keep them clicking!’

Well, as far as I am concerned, one of the reasons I’m not rich and famous (one among too many to list—way too many), is that I am never going to just publish ‘any old thing’. That’s because ‘any old thing’ is very often another way of saying, ‘Just throw them any old rubbish’. For starters, you are not ‘them’; you are friends, followers, fellow travellers on the Journey. Second, I don’t want to offer rubbish to anyone. Anyway, the whole approach is offensive to me, and an insult to you, as blog readers.Recycling Monk

Not only is that approach an offense to every single reader of the blog concerned, it would be for us a deceit, a travesty of our aims for this blog, which is meant to be a place to chronicle our own personal Journey of Healing, as well as a place to pass on and share ideas and insights that we find—or hope to find—helpful.

I do have to admit that I fret when I can’t think of a post. I know I shouldn’t, but I do. I want our Journey to be shared with as many people as possible; our dream is that it will gather a large number of followers and readers. Speaking personally I dream of making it the central, dominant work in my life. It’s kind of a weird notion but I would like to live this blog, make it my life.

So, our dear friends, if there is ever rubbish on this blog, you can be certain it is not there because of any deliberate act on our part. We simply wish to share our Journey, as well as the beauty we are always trying to create—Pauline’s drawings and paintings, and my photographs—with as many people as possible.

But that sharing is not and never will be informed, directed, or guided by, any kind of ‘How to blog and get rich’ hogwash. It will grow if it is meant to, in an organic, natural way as people are attracted to it, as people discover something on the blog that speaks to them. It will grow (again if it’s meant to) as those people share the blog with others.

A Niche OfferingThis blog comes from a deep place within us both. There, in that place, our Truths reside. We have pledged ourselves to honesty, to being open, and to allowing ourselves to be vulnerable. Some people might be freaked by this openness, but that’s okay: it’s our blog not theirs. We just hope that the cracks in us, our brokenness as human beings, will allow some light in (Thank you Mr Cohen for all you have given to us and to so many others), and that this light will not only help us on our journey, but will also reach out and help heal some of the brokenness in others as well.

Anyway, thank you to all of you, followers and visitors alike, for your support. An idea just occurred to me (that’s how this writing business works you know: you just have to start, then ideas will [sometimes] come): Please feel free to ask any questions of us, anything at all. Remember we promised to be open and honest! You can use the comment box, or email us privately. Up to you. That way we can share more of us and our Journey with you and with everyone else who finds this blog.

Hope to speak with you soon.

Love and blessings from us to you.

Paul Paul Self Portrait with Prayer Flags

Smooth Sailing Towards Desert Lands

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Road to Broken HillI think most of you are by now aware that very soon we are heading way way inland, deep into the Australian Outback. To a town called Broken Hill to be precise. And, I do have to say, so far it’s all been very smooth sailing.Back to Country

For a very long time we have wanted to, at some point ‘in the future’, spend time in Broken Hill (BH). Then while we were in India, we made the decision that, when we got to Australia once more, we would look very seriously into finding a way to spend a good length of time there.

So, here we are three months later and about three weeks from that big adventure. Our plan basically is to, as we call it, make a life there. Of course, first steps in that project are to find a place to live, a source of income, and obviously figure out how to transport ourselves there.

Pauline discovered a Facebook page called ‘Broken Hill Classifieds’ and put a notice on there that we were coming and did anyone have any rental property. Amazed we were when we got a stream of replies back. Lots of helpful advice, I think three or four actual offers of accommodation, one of which sounded irresistible

A couple has brought an old guest house and are renovating it into several separate apartments, or flats as would say here in Oz. The rent was to be so low that nobody could refuse; and they threw in the idea of us being sort of part-time caretakers (sweeping, putting out the rubbish, and so on) for an even lower rent. So, all agreed. Very exciting.

But, as so often happens in renovation land, our new friends found that there is going to be a lot more work to renovate than they thought: crumbling walls from rising damp, rotten floor boards; I am sure you get the gist here. So, that arrangement is on hold for at least some time because it is going to be a big and expensive job.

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The beetles are rather large in the desert

Never fear, more offers were being made. A fully furnished two bedroom house close to the centre of town, with everything we would want. The lovely woman making the offer told us it has been the family home for more than 60 years: her mother has recently had to move out of the house and into a nursing home. Even more perfect, we thought. Only snag is that it won’t be ready (also heavy repairs going on) till about the end of July.

Why is that a snag? Well we are poodle (three adorable little creatures) and house sitting on the coast, about 1000km (600 miles) from BH. And the poodles’ humans are coming home on 2 July. Which obviously leaves us with a few weeks to fill.

Again, Pauline’s Facebook discovery came to our rescue. She put out a call for a housesit in ‘The Hill’ (what the locals call the place) for those dates, 2 July to the end of the month or thereabouts. Once again we got a heap of replies with great suggestions. One in particular got our attention. This lady said she is going on a holiday (a road trip yet! Lucky her) with a friend from the middle of June for about a month, but look, don’t worry, I have a friend who will look after the cats until you get here. And then you can choose to stay in the house or in the flat out the back. Then, when we get back, if your house isn’t ready you are more than welcome to stay till it is.

So, there it is. All cemented in place. Very smooth, very friendly, and full of good omens, good vibes, and blessings for us.

What about income? Well, as of now we have none, and to add to that fact is the reality of us having very VERY little money. Without the possibility of a ‘regular job’ due to our health, we will be calling upon Social Security to at least help us get by until something turns up (we are still working on the Mala business we started in India, and I do occasionally sell a photo or two). We will most likely be required to do some volunteer work in return for some money from them. Quite right too. Not at all unhappy about that; the only thing will be to find volunteer work that we are actually able to do. And we are already working on that, putting out feelers, making enquiries.

Volunteer work is for us service to others. And we do indeed see it as part of healing. Giving is receiving as they say.  We will do our best to be of the most service we can. And we do not fail to see for a second that we are very blessed to live in a society (community) that is willing to help us out, so it is a gift that we can help out in return.

A-Local-Radio-Station-in-its-own-Radio-shaped-building-in-outback-Australia-2 (2)

Paul plans to volunteer at the BH community radio station (this isn’t the station ; it’s actually someone’s house. Cool eh?

Now, as for transport there. There is a train and bus that takes 13 hours all up; you know the drill: train goes so far, then bus the rest of the way. This trip would take us several days to complete (either that or doing it in one day and risk collapse!), meaning spending heaps of money on hotels and the rest. It’s an appealing idea for two nomads like us, but there has been a lot of water under the bridge since we hitchhiked from here to there in the 80s.

Car Wreck in Broken Hill Australia

End of Roadtrip Collapse

So, we’re going to fly. Yes, flying always sounds like it’s going to be more expensive at first glance doesn’t it? Well, that’s why initially we dismissed the idea. But in fact it will be probably less than half the cost of that train and bus marathon (you want marathon? A friend on Facebook is on a 76 hour bus marathon across the US. Here’s his link. Interesting guy, really nice person, and on a mission of love). On top of that it takes two hours. Unfortunately it’s going to be in the dark which means we won’t get to see the extraordinary landscapes and the way they change as we reach the red sands of our deserts (flying over Australia is one of the must do things in life I reckon).

We feel called to the desert and BH in particular. We both sense that it is the right place for is to be at this time. We also want the quiet, the peace and the beauty of that place and the landscape in which it sits. And, we are very tired. Well we are always tired, but we believe we will find some rest there, some healing. We are nomads yes, but even nomads have to stop sometimes to replenish energies that sustain them on the endless journey they are on.

Time to make a life. It’s a walk we need to take, a pilgrimage we need to make

Words of Wisdom Shared

If You…

From an early age, I have collected quotes. From books read, conversations overheard, my own words from journals and other writings, even slogans on t-shirts and billboards.

One day I sat at the computer and typed up all those collected quotes stored in several boxes full of little notebooks and scraps of paper (Part of our house clearing in preparation for our life on the road). The result is hundreds—literally—of pages of quotes. That typing (which in fact took me quite a bit longer than one day) was in fact the genesis of a book that I’m still working on. As I typed I saw so many great words of wisdom that I just felt compelled to put some of them together somehow.

I’ve now been at that task for many years: it’s a very intense process and takes so much energy and, as any writer will tell you, the muse has to strike us before we can begin to strike those keyboard keys! Anyway, it will be done when it’s done; the very notion of ‘all things in their right time’ is actually one of the major aspects of the book.

As I got to the end of that original typing marathon, I noticed that, strangely, the very last quote in that long long list reads simply, ‘If you’. Clearly a sentence begun but left hanging. Who will ever know what would or should or could have come next but never did?

Recently I remembered that little interesting fact and decided to think about its meaning (anyone who knows me will know that I just have to dig deeper into such quirky little things). I decided to do a quick search of the whole collection for that little conditional phrase. The search revealed that there are  139 instances of quotes beginning with ‘If you…’.  

So, dear readers, dear friends and fellow travellers on life’s journey, here are nine (why pick ten like everyone else would have done?) of those quotes, chosen at random (is there such a thing really?).

No commentary or comment from me; you, the reader, have the chance to think about the quote means to you, without my two cents’ worth thrown in. Well, okay, just 2c worth: I have always gained a lot of benefit from quotes such as these (not necessarily these ones specifically); sometimes a simple quote has led to a healing or an important insight.

So, I thought I would it’d be a great idea to share some of my collection with you and perhaps there will be one or more that strikes a chord with you. IMG_20170108_112554-02

  1. If you allow things to surprise you, you will get easily confused.
  2. If you always do your best, you will be free from regrets.
  3. If you follow the eternal law, you can understand how to love.
  4. When you forget who you are, and don’t know what to do, act the way you would if you did.
  5. If you really don’t care, you aren’t going to know if something is wrong. The thought would never occur to you. The act of pronouncing something wrong is a form of caring.
  6. If you have to ask questions all the time, you never get time to just know.
  7. If you only look at yourself, you cannot find yourself, because that is not what you are.
  8. If you are not interested in this, then why are you here?
  9. If you deny even one person entrance to your life, you’ll never get their uniqueness from anyone else.

So, there you are. There’s much here to reflect on here. Lots to focus on, to meditate on, and contemplate. Maybe on another post, I will offer a few more of these quotes, these words of wisdom beginning with those two little words:

If you…

Love and blessings from us to you

PS We would be very keen to hear what you make of any of the quotes. Let’s hear your ideas. PAULS PHONE INDIA MASTER (3652 of 4288)